Louisville Public Media – Podcast Incubator

Louisville Public Media – Podcast Incubator

Understanding that podcasting was not their expertise, the team pitched their idea to Louisville Public Media, who saw its value and chose it to be part of their podcast incubator initiative. Through the program, LPM offered strategic and production assistance, as well as promotional support to bring the podcast to

Louisville Public Media – Podcast Incubator

Understanding that podcasting was not their expertise, the team pitched their idea to Louisville Public Media, who saw its value and chose it to be part of their podcast incubator initiative. Through the program, LPM offered strategic and production assistance, as well as promotional support to bring the podcast to life. Our goals include: (1) reaching a diverse audience reflective of Kentucky’s AA/PI population, (2) encouraging AA/PI Kentuckians to come together, lift their voices and discuss their experiences, (3) promoting a shift in mindset for Kentuckians on how they view the AA/PI experience in our state (4) providing listeners with the tools to share their own stories.

About the Organization:

Understanding that podcasting was not their expertise, the team pitched their idea to Louisville Public Media, who saw its value and chose it to be part of their podcast incubator initiative. Through the program, LPM offered strategic and production assistance, as well as promotional support to bring the podcast to life. Our goals include: (1) reaching a diverse audience reflective of Kentucky’s AA/PI population, (2) encouraging AA/PI Kentuckians to come together, lift their voices and discuss their experiences, (3) promoting a shift in mindset for Kentuckians on how they view the AA/PI experience in our state (4) providing listeners with the tools to share their own stories.

organizational budget

8 MILLION - 15 MILLION

existence for

26-30 YEARS

The Issue:

In May 2021, the horrific murders in Atlanta and a rise in anti-Asian hate in America was a big wake up call for a lot of Asian Americans. Like many others, Kentuckians Charlene Buckles, Dan Wu, Mae Suramek, and Nima Kulkarni came together through this experience and rallied around their shared desire to do something . Not knowing yet what that something might be, they knew that their central goal was to create an opportunity for members of the AA/PI community across Kentucky - from rural to suburban and urban neighborhoods - to gather together and have a voice. From personal experience, Charlene, Dan, Mae, and Nima knew there was a lack of safe spaces to tell their stories and the stories of other AA/PI Kentuckians that often go untold. The most recent census numbers show more than 75,000 Asian-Americans live in Kentucky, but Asians in Kentucky are not often as visible as some other groups. As Nima Kulkarni put it, “Asian Americans aren't a monolith, and neither are their experiences. They do have common touchstones, though.” One such commonality is the experience of being “othered”, which often occurs when having to answer the question, “Where are you from?”. “Saying you're from Louisville or Berea isn't the answer people are seeking”, Kulkarni said. This leads to the inevitable follow-up question, “No, where are you really from?”. Nima concludes, “The answer is never acceptable until you say something like 'My parents are from India' or 'I was born in the Philippines.'" Speaking from his experience, Dan Wu said, “That interrogation is always about the fact that no matter what we say, no matter how good our English is, no matter how culturally connected we are, or where we were born, we're always kind of othered. We're always seen as the perpetual foreigner, and that's been the way we've been perceived for centuries in this country.”

The Solution:

This shared experience led these four creators to co-produce the podcast, "Where Y'all Really From?”, which at its core is an opportunity for AA/PI Kentuckians to come together and discuss their experiences and share stories that haven’t otherwise been told. These conversations are more important than ever in light of anti-Asian and anti-immigrant sentiment prevalent in America today. Understanding that podcasting was not their expertise, the team pitched their idea to Louisville Public Media, who saw its value and chose it to be part of their podcast incubator initiative. Through the program, LPM offered strategic and production assistance, as well as promotional support to bring the podcast to life. Charlene, summed up the mission of the podcast, “We want to make sure that every single AA/PI Kentuckian who listens to this podcast knows that you’re not alone in your experience, you belong here, this is our home too.” Dan explained, “I think a lot of hatred and racism stems from ignorance, but once you get to know people, you humanize them and it’s hard to hate them once you know their story.” In Season 1 of “Where Y’all Really From?,” which launched in September 2021, the hosts met with thirteen guests over 12 episodes. These AA/PI Kentuckians were from city hubs like Lexington and Louisville and small towns like Whitesburg and Williamsburg. Season one featured Asian American poets, Olympians, and filmmakers, but at the heart of each episode was the guest’s opportunity to speak to their truth and tell their story. In the upcoming Season of “Where Y’all Really From?”, scheduled to be released this fall, the podcast will continue to explore the AA/PI experience in Kentucky. The hosts plan to expand beyond the 1-on-1 interview format of the previous season and feature themed episodes on topics such as language, names, relationships, and food, diving deeper into AA/PI Kentuckian experiences. Nima said her hope for the podcast is to foster a long-term conversation, and she's excited about the possibilities for the podcast's future. "It came out of something horrific, but it’s a positive, community-building space.”

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